OBJECTIVE: The goal was to determine whether there were significant differences between children of normative versus short stature in behavioral functioning and peer relationships, according to teacher and child reports.

METHODS: The study included 712 boys and girls in the sixth grade, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Main outcome measures included Achenbach Teacher's Report Form internalizing, externalizing, and total scores; Children's Depression Inventory scores (child report); Life Orientation Test-Revised scores (child report); Child Behavior with Peers questionnaire asocial with peers, excluded by peers, and peer victimization subscale scores (teacher report); peer social support and victimization scores (child report); and relationships with peers score (teacher report). In bivariate comparisons, these outcomes were compared for children of relatively short (height of <10th percentile) versus nonshort (height of ≥10th percentile) stature, and effect sizes were calculated. Multivariate linear regression models adjusted for maternal education, income/needs ratio, race, and gender.

RESULTS: Effect sizes ranged from 0.00 to 0.35. Short children reported marginally higher levels of self-perceived peer victimization, compared with their nonshort peers. There were no significant differences in the rest of the outcomes for children of short versus nonshort stature, in either unadjusted or adjusted models.

CONCLUSION: Although short children from a population-based sample reported marginally higher levels of self-perceived peer victimization, they did not differ from their nonshort peers in a range of social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.

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